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San Francisco Earthquake footage

something has gone horribly wrong 8-p
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This movie is part of the collection: Prelinger Archives

Audio/Visual: Si, B&W
Keywords: Earthquakes: San Francisco, 1906; San Francisco: Disasters; Amateur Film

Creative Commons license: Public Domain


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Reviews
Average Rating: 4.25 out of 5 stars4.25 out of 5 stars4.25 out of 5 stars4.25 out of 5 stars4.25 out of 5 stars

Reviewer: THorner - 5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars - April 15, 2014
Subject: Amazing Footage
It's amazing to look at this footage that is over 100 years. When we look at technology today with cameras on cell phones and what it was back then, we have come a long way to film scene.
Just like 9/11, there are always a film or clip of a tragedy that people remembers or is ingrained in their memory for a long time.

Reviewer: sbaloans101 - 3.00 out of 5 stars3.00 out of 5 stars3.00 out of 5 stars - November 7, 2013
Subject: Nice!
A movie for realization I think. Not all can predict earthquakes.It is a natural act of Mother Earth.Just like what happen in the Philippines a month ago. Let us just be sharp and keep calm.

Reviewer: expose_them_all - 5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars - July 28, 2013
Subject: Simply Amazing
Simply Amazing

Reviewer: rexasul - 5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars - July 4, 2010
Subject: History caught on camera
This footage is extraordinary, very bleak and miserable... and the quality of the footage looks so genuine. Somehow I don't think newer filming technology has the same breathtaking effect of old films like this.

I used it in a video for my song (sorry, shameless plug, I know) here, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k2SX0uQfjVg

The colour replacement might have ruined the overall effect of the footage, but I changed it to work with the song.

Reviewer: sunsetnative - 5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars - April 18, 2010
Subject: Negative flipped left to right
Nice to see this footage, but either the '06 earthquake was more powerful than previously thought, or the negative was flipped when printing, because the tall building with the pointy tower (later known as the Call Building- clearly seen at 2:00) has jumped from the south side of Market St. (screen right) to the north (screen left), as have many other buildings and cable car street islands as compared with the famous pre-quake cable car ride footage {"Trip Down Market St. before the fire"}. Also, around 7:55 of the post quake film you can see in the upper left frame the reverse spelling of a sign on a building. Perhaps if the film had been printed correctly the image would be sharper. Amazing the number of couples out sightseeing amid the rubble.

Reviewer: heavener - 4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars - March 7, 2010
Subject: A few observations ...
The camera was driven by automobile, rather than by cable car as in the earlier pre-earthquake footage (http://www.archive.org/details/TripDown1905) -- there are places where the auto changes to the other side of the street to avoid obstructions (debris, people, etc.) and no crossover/switch was seen. It's not a cable car as in the earlier footage because in places the track and/or the cable slot are damaged. It's also not a horse dray because the animal isn't at all visible (and a pushed vehicle would not have been as steady).

It's difficult to say whether this was shot at the same frame rate or that the car moved at the same speed. (BTW, the camera in the earlier footage traveled at the same speed as the cable in the slot, i.e. 9 miles per hour.) It is, however, remarkable that a side-by-side comparison was so quickly organized and created with just as much care as the pre-quake version.

The quality of the film's processing and/or archiving shows less care than the pre-earthquake footage, and would be consistent with the post-quake lack of facilities and lab capability. It is likely that this was photographed by the same people who made the earlier version, perhaps to record the damage for posterity, and then they may have changed their minds about the possibility that a side-by-side comparison might disfavor the city at a time when venture capital was desperately sought for the reconstruction. If so, they might likely have merely stored the footage and forgotten it, while there is a real probability the pre-earthquake footage was re-circulated as a promotional bid for capital investment.

It is highly probable that the people in this footage were aware of the earlier film, which would have been a crowd pleaser and box-office draw. That these people so willingly moved out of the way of the camera car suggests they were not surprised by it and wanted to make sure this film had the same impact (there is no other reason to suggest why they didn't numerous times halt the camera car when it is clear they could/would/should have)).

Reviewer: Jaibo - 4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars - April 30, 2004
Subject: Nice tracking!
This is a long, steady tracking shot. I think its got the texture of an apocalyptic dream.

Reviewer: Spuzz - 3.00 out of 5 stars3.00 out of 5 stars3.00 out of 5 stars - May 25, 2003
Subject: You can leave your hat on
This film is very similar to the coverage of the 1908 San Fransisco Earthquake made by a vehicle footage found elsewhere on this site. I like how, in the film, either there was dust or fog or whathaveyou, covering what we were going to see next, very expressionist. As usual, people, in their 1908 finery, are all walking about looking befuddled for a camera. A very curious piece, but drags on unfortunately.